Demonstrating a Commitment to Workplace Safety: A Conversation with Travis Vance

In May, Marlin, the global leader in workplace digital signage solutions, announced the formation of its Content Advisory Board, a team of front-line experts who advise Marlin on the latest trends and challenges facing the manufacturing, transportation, warehouse and sanitation industries. As a litigator who helps companies navigate the world of OSHA and MSHA citations, Travis Vance brings a valuable and unique perspective to the board. He knows the challenges companies face when it comes to safety and regulatory compliance, and he looks at Marlin’s content through the lens of how it can help companies support and demonstrate their commitment to safety. 

I recently caught up with Travis to ask him about his role at Fisher Phillips and what he perceives as the ROI of the Marlin Content Program.

What is your role at Fisher Phillips and how is it evolving?

I’m currently the National Workplace Safety Practice Co-Leader, a role I began earlier this year. I oversee numerous OSHA and MSHA inspections and litigation matters. I also write several workplace safety articles, speak on safety-related issues throughout the country, and provide training to clients. 

What are the points of intersection between the services you and Marlin provide to employers? 

Marlin and our firm Fisher Phillips are both in the business of providing high quality, accurate content to our clients in order to keep workers safe. Marlin is on the cutting edge of this area, and I’m proud to offer assistance with this significant endeavor to promote knowledge concerning workplace safety. 

Our customers and your clients share a common goal: to build a strong workplace safety culture. What’s the biggest challenge facing employers and EHS professionals as they work to build that culture? 

The largest hurdle is likely turnover; employees often come and go from workplaces and keeping employees trained when that is the case is difficult. The key is to develop a workplace where employees feel safe and part of the team. If they are engaged, they are likely to stay and thus will become better trained and more experienced employees. 

Marlin content regularly and visually reinforces OSHA-compliant behavior. In your experience, how important is it for a company to reinforce safety messaging? 

As noted, employee training is crucial to developing a robust safety program, but the initial training employees may receive during orientation at the beginning of their employment is only a small part of this process. Employees should receive periodic refresher training on a regular basis. The content Marlin offers to employers gives them a significant advantage to ensure that employees are developing an intimate familiarity with the employer’s safety program. Safety content in break rooms and other areas of a facility are constant reminders of the company’s commitment to safety and employees are more likely to retain the information if they are shown it on a frequent basis after the initial training occurs. 

As an attorney on the front lines, helping your clients prepare for and defend themselves against OSHA and MSHA citations, what do you see as the value of the Marlin content program? 

OSHA and MSHA want to see that an employer is educating employees on the company’s safety program. Marlin’s content demonstrates to the inspecting agency that the company has gone above and beyond what any standard may require and are committed to employee safety. Having Marlin’s content in place will be crucial in helping defeat any citation or mitigating the penalty or gravity/classification associated with a citation. 

You recently shared your ideas around the evolution of the knowledge-based economy. Why should companies care about a knowledge-based economy, especially in regards to safety? 

I believe employee safety will be the third wave of the knowledge-based economy (after wage/hour issues and the MeToo movement). It is very easy for employees to post on social media images of workplace safety hazards, causing employers to face public backlash. This makes workplace safety and having a robust safety program paramount. 

About Travis

Travis Vance is an OSHA/MSHA Employment litigation attorney and Partner at Fisher Phillips, one of the nation’s largest law firms representing management exclusively in workplace law. Travis counsels employers and owners on all aspects of employment law and the development of preventive policies and procedures to avoid employment and workplace safety-related claims.

ABOUT MARLIN

Marlin, a global leader in workplace digital signage, helps managers reach employees using the latest SaaS-based technology solutions to deliver visual communication. Designed specifically for the workplace, Marlin’s patented digital signage products are known for their ease of use, robust content options and flexibility. For 105 years, Marlin has developed and delivered visual communication programs that engage, inform and motivate employees. Learn more about Marlin’s digital signage products and services at https://www.themarlincompany.com.

Carolyn Voelkening
August 21, 2019

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